In his final plate appearance at Lee-Hines Field, Southern University shortstop Malik Blaise redefined the term "senior moment."
With the bases loaded and Southern trailing in the bottom of the ninth, Blaise laced a ground ball through the left side of the Nicholls State infield for a walk-off, 2-RBI single to topple the Colonels 6-5 in the home finale Wednesday night.
Blaise, a senior from Meraux, went into his final at bat 0 for 3 before his ninth inning heroics set off a wild scene with Blaise teammates mobbing him near second base and removing his jersey after LaPorte's cleat touched home plate to give the Jaguars their 16th home win.
Four seniors posted multi-hit games in their final outing at Lee-Hines Field. Javeyan Williams and Ashanti Wheatley each went 2 of 3 with a triple, an RBI an a run scored. Bobby Johnson finished 2 of 4 and Tyler LaPorte added two hits in five at-bats, including a clutch ninth inning bunt single to second to load the bases with no outs.
Southern appeared to seize control of the game as head coach Kerrick Jackson and pitching coach Christopher Crenshaw deployed a platoon of Jaguars pitchers that held the Colonels to one run in the first inning and retired 9 of the next 10 Nicholls State batters before Larry Barabino navigated SU out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth. In mass, SU used nine pitchers total with Connor Whalen picking up the win to move to 4-0 this season.
After the Colonels rallied to score three runs in the eighth and added a run in the ninth, Southern entered the bottom frame trailing 5-3. Coby Taylor walked to lead off the inning and Zavier Moore reached after being hit by the pitch. LaPorte's timely bunt squeezed in between Nicholls' pitcher Colin Kramer and first baseman Alec Paz and settled near a vacated second base.
Nicholls turned to Beau Balado in their third pitching change of the inning but Javeyan Williams' sacrifice fly scored Coby Taylor to pull Southern within one run. Wheatley loaded the bases after Nicholls alerted the home plate umpire to intentionally walk the Jaguars right fielder setting the stage for Blaise.
Blaise and the rest of the 2019 senior class still have a litany of accomplishment to capture starting with this weekend's final Southwestern Athletic Conference series at Prairie View A&M. The Jaguars need one win to claim the program's first SWAC western division title and SWAC Tournament top seed since 2014. First pitch for Friday's series opener is set for 3 p.m.